Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's Official

The worst-kept secret on the Palouse has now been officially confirmed. A Wal-Mart Supercenter is coming to Moscow.

From today's Argonaut:
Wal-Mart officials have applied to build a supercenter in Moscow.
Dean Logsdon, senior project manager for CLC Associates, Inc., sent the application to the City of Moscow Community Development Department to use the old Tidyman’s site on the southeast corner of State Highway 8 and S. Mountain View Road extending to E. Palouse Drive.

The company requested the rezoning of 77.6 acres to the city’s Motor Business Zoning District and approval of their use of the land.

Gary Riedner, Moscow City supervisor, said the request requires a public hearing before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and a second hearing in front of the Moscow City Council.

The development application states that the company wants to relocate the existing Moscow Wal-Mart on Warbonnet Drive in west Moscow to the recently annexed parcel of land in east Moscow.

Newly elected city council member Bob Stout said the development must be in compliance with the city’s Large Scale Retail Emergency Ordinance, which he helped author parts of.

“I talked about big box stories in my campaign, and while I didn’t totally ban them,” Stout said, “they’re not always a positive for our community.”

The emergency ordinance requires developers to obtain a Conditional Use Permit prior to getting a building permit for any retail facilities in excess of 40,000 square feet.

The City Council is now also working on a permanent large-scale retail ordinance.

The proposed Wal-Mart Super Center would be 203,819 square feet and would include grocery, general merchandise, pharmacy, garden center, a tire and lube express and a 10-pump gas station. The development would also include 1,038 off-street parking spots.

Riedner said no staff members have reviewed the application and no public hearings have been scheduled yet, but the process is “anticipated to take approximately one month.”
And also in the Lewiston Tribune:
Wal-Mart has big plans for Moscow

By JOEL MILLS
of the Tribune

MOSCOW -- Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, wants to build a supercenter on the southeast edge of Moscow, the city announced Thursday.

Wal-Mart also wants to build a supercenter in Pullman. Supercenters add groceries, tire and lube centers, and gas pumps to their traditional line of discount retail items.

The announcement listed a number of hurdles Wal-Mart must clear before construction can begin.

Wal-Mart's application review will be overseen by the city Community Development Department and requests a rezone of 77.6 acres to the city's Motor Business Zoning District.

Both the rezone and a preliminary plat approval require public hearings before the city planning and zoning commission and the city council.

The store will also have to comply with a large-scale retail emergency ordinance the city council passed in August to deal with so-called "big box" development in Moscow.

The ordinance requires developers to obtain a conditional-use permit for buildings larger than 40,000 square feet. The proposed supercenter is almost 204,000 square feet.

The permit process requires another public hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The board can require that certain conditions be met before development can proceed.

Wal-Mart's application said it would close its location on Warbonnet Drive on the northwest side of town. The new store would occupy 31 acres southeast of the intersection of State Highway 8 and Mountain View Road, an area in east Moscow recently annexed into the city. It would have more than 1,000 parking spaces and a 10-pump fuel station, according to a news release from the city of Moscow.

The Pullman supercenter of similar size set to be built on Bishop Boulevard has won initial approval from the city. But the decision is being appealed by a local anti-Wal-Mart group.
Dale Courtney at Right Mind notes that the locations listed in the two articles are different. He suspects, as do I, that the location the Tribune mentions is the correct one.

This annoucement will not lessen anyone's desire to have a Wal-Mart in Pullman, as T.V Reed has claimed. It will strengthen it. If Moscow gets a Supercenter and we don't, we will be facing an unprecedented financial disaster in this city. The goal has NEVER been to get Moscow shoppers to come to Pullman, it has been to KEEP Pullman shoppers in Pullman.

The clock is now ticking. We need to get our Supercenter started NOW or we will have to live with another 30 years of Moscow retail dominance, just as we did after the Palouse Mall was chased out of town. I again call on PARD to drop their futile appeals and do the right thing for Pullman.

3 comments:

Dale Courtney said...

Tom,

We're in agreement on this matter.

I'm just curious to see if the wheels come off on the liberals in Moscow as badly as they did in Pullman.

Perhaps they have too many other things keeping them occupied in Moscow...

April E. Coggins said...

I'll be curious to see if the people in Moscow who vigorously campaigned against Wal-Mart opening in Pullman will do the same against the new Wal-Mart in Moscow.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

In reading the Daily News today it already seems Moscow has pulled several tricks from PARD's bag. Evidently Wal-Mart will have to first apply for a conditional use permit before a permanent permit ala Bozeman, MT.